Jared James Nichols: Old Glory Highwayman of The Blues heads to Chester.

Posted on 20 June 2016
By Chris High
  • Share:

Following the European tour with Zakk Wylde, the Wisconsin-bred Rock Blues master Jared James Nichols returns to the UK this month for a series of headlining live concerts which brings him to The Chester Live Rooms on June 23rd, followed by an extensive October UK tour supporting legendary blues guitarist Walter Trout which will see the Highwayman visit Manchester’s Academy 2 on October 18th.

To further underline what a busy time this is, on June 3rd Jared digitally released a brand new single, Don’t You Try, accompanied by an official music video; an homage to the bikers of the 60s and 70s. The video is pretty powerful stuff on its own, featuring a car being chased to its doom by a gang of bikers. “I was sitting at home, watching a whole bunch of random bike flicks like Easy Rider and Cocaine Cowboys and stuff like that and thought: ‘I really want to do a video that actually feels like this, just for fun,’” Jared said between UK gigs.

“I’m being chased by a bunch of bikers then next thing I know, in the video, I’m being run off this cliff, crashing down, but survive to walk out holding my guitar. It was all a kind of tongue in cheek thing. I had all this old footage and thought it’d be great to film something in the hills of Hollywood, so we took my old car up there, shot our pieces then cut some of the footage together with what we’d made so that we could have own little story. I guess using the film footage really makes it a tribute and I think it works really well with Don’t You Try, because I really didn’t want to try too hard to emulate those cult classics either.”

Written by Jared and producer/engineer Anthony Perry Jr., Don’t You Try was recorded at Swing House & Unison Music Group Studios in LA, and will appear on Jared’s next album. “Basically, the song is about belief,” Jared reflected, “in all aspects of life. About, what you’re told when you’re young and how it has an impression on you. How strong other people’s words can be. How there is always something in the back of your mind, kind of chasing you. At the end of the day, you have to believe in what you want.”

Jared also appeared at the Stone Free Rock Festival earlier this month. “That was amazing. We got up and did our thing then hung out with the guys from Blackberry Smoke and Alice Cooper. It was a fantastic night. We’re relatively unknown right now in the UK, so a lot of people really don’t know what to expect when they come to see us play. For me though, British audiences are great possibly because a lot of my own influences are by and large British. It just seems to gel and we have a lot of high energy fun whenever and wherever we play.”

In October of 2015 Jared released Highwayman, a five track EP containing three original and two cover songs performed by Grand Funk Railroad and Humble Pie. This on the back of releasing what has proven to be a universally acclaimed hit album in Old Glory and Wild Revival. “The idea of releasing the EP was simple: while I’m on the road I like to have something fresh and new to bring to the table.

“Yeah, we could have just kept touring the Old Glory and Wild Revival album, but I had about three weeks off in LA. I didn’t want to get bored and wanted to get into a studio to do some work. Honestly, it just seemed to work out right. It was just a small handful of tunes with no pressure to record so it wasn’t anything crazy. What it did though was keep me fresh and kept me going. One of the most important things, I believe, is to just keep bringing new things forward.”

As good as Old Glory and Wild Revival is, Highwayman carries just a little bit more of an edge to it that is, in itself, refreshing. “I really wanted the EP to be a little more pushy when compared to the album. We recorded Old Glory with Eddie Kramer in the classic way. With Highwayman, I’d just come off the road supporting Glenn Hughes across Europe on around 150 shows. That left me with a lot of excitement and it’s that, I think, that gives Highwayman an added bit of sparkle.”

“The direction in which the EP takes me though is definitely something I want to keep pursuing. The next album I want to be as raw as I can make it and closer to how we are live on stage.”

Old Glory and Wild Revival is a quite superb album, with both an individual feel and, also, an eclectic combination of sounds through tracks such as Take My Hand and the more traditional blues sound featured on the cover of Robert Johnson’s Come In My Kitchen. It is hardly surprising then that Jared James Nichols’ musical influences stretch far and wide. “When you talk about stuff like Come In My Kitchen, what a lot of people don’t know is that one of my biggest passions is playing steel guitar. “I listen to that kind of music daily, so in that way people like Robert Johnson have always been an influence on me as a musician.

“In fact you could say that just about everything from Alice in Chains right the way through to Stevie Ray Vaughn and Cream are huge influences. They really are all over the board because I truly believe that the blues well runs very deep. What’s important to me though is that if I cover somebody else’s work, there’s a sign of progression in my playing. Hopefully I managed that with Come In My Kitchen and Take My Hand on Old Glory, because I really like to take this stuff and twist it with my own angles.”

As well as cover versions though, Jared is also an accomplished writer. “I never try to push the writing and like to do things more off the cuff. I’ve never been the kind of guy who can just go sit in a room with a pad and pencil and knock out an album’s worth of songs. It just isn’t me. I like to capture the excitement of a riff or a phrase on the fly, let it process naturally in my head then take it to the band where we will jam it.

“For example, the riff on Don’t You Try has been sitting in my head for, like, years and then just one day it came out the way it has. I honestly don’t know how it works – in fact I don’t want know, as long as it keeps working – but as long as I never do things the same way twice, particularly live, then I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing. It is all about the music being as alive as we are. Nobody ever wakes up in the morning feeling the way they did the day before, so why would anybody want to play that way?”

And there is no question that the audience at The Chester Live Rooms will feel that energy on June 23rd. “What you’re going to get it is real, live Rock Blues. Every night we just go for it and try and make the best of the moment. It’s really high energy, in your face music and I guarantee anyone that comes along will have a great night.”

Jared James Nichols is at The Chester Live Rooms this Thursday,June 23rd. For Tickets: http://www.seetickets.com/event/jared-james-nichols-bad-touch-dave-hanson/the-live-rooms/963144 Support is provided by Bad Touch and Steve Hanson, and tickets are priced at £10.

Jun 22 Yardbirds – Grimsby
Jun 23 The Live Rooms – Chester
Jun 24 Duck & Drake – Leeds
Jun 25 Craufurd Arms – Milton Keynes
Jul 23 The Apex – Bury St. Edmunds

Oct 17 Rock City – Nottingham
Oct 18 Manchester Academy 2
Oct 19 Sage Gateshead – Newcastle
Oct 21 The Lemon Tree – Aberdeen
Oct 22 The Queens Hall – Edinburgh
Oct 23 Holmfirth Picturedrome – West Yorkshire
Oct 25 The Brook – Southampton
Oct 26 Exeter Phoenix
Oct 27 Tramshed – Cardiff

Notice: Undefined index: query in /home/purplerevolver/public_html/wp-content/themes/purple-revolver/single.php on line 57

Notice: Undefined index: v in /home/purplerevolver/public_html/wp-content/themes/purple-revolver/single.php on line 58